Love Yourself: February Challenge

boy is it not about being perfect, y'all.. if it was, I would be a failure.

wellness is about giving yourself grace- embracing your flaws and shortcoming, but seeking balance each day & doing your personal BEST.

one of my deepest desires as a coach is for women to find balance by making their wellness (mind + body + spirit) a priority.

-it's not selfish to take 30 minutes a day to exercise..
-well rounded nutrition isn't for people with excess money/time on their hands..
-and it's certainly not vanity to pursue a healthier you.

Getting back to the BASICS of fitness and nutrition each day, believe it or not, CAN make you a better wife.. girlfriend.. mother.. daughter ..sister ..friend ..student ..employee.. the list goes on.

I don't create groups each month for perfectionist. I don't provide you with a magical overnight solution. I AM providing you with tools and an environment for you to learn to LOVE yourself, >better< care for those around you and to create a sustainable lifestyle that honors the One who gave you life in the first place.

the focus of my february accountability group is this..

progress not perfection.
LOVE yourself by caring for your temple.
Give yourself GRACE & find BALANCE.

To learn more about how you can join this challenge, email me at: OR apply HERE by SATURDAY 1/30!

22 Minute Hard Corps Week FOUR Sneak Peek {video}

You better BELIEVE that once our test group got the approval to share bits of our workouts on video that I hit the record button.

It's one thing for me to just TELL you what these workouts are like and to show an occasional photo.. but it's a whole other thing to SEE them in action.

One of the things I LOVE about this program, besides the fact that it's only 22 Minutes a day #holler , is that this program is created for FUNCTIONAL fitness.

You're welcome to go to the gym and work on machines that target one part of your body at a time, but I prefer a workout that's going to exercise on the WHOLE thing.

In just shy of 4 weeks, working out for 22 minutes a day, I've seen muscle definition from my neck down to my ankles. The scale might not be moving much, but that's because the MASS of my body is transforming from fat --> to muscle.

The simple nutrition plan is FUELING my body with EXACTLY what it needs to function at max capacity, while allowing me to lean out... no starving. Just BALANCE & discipline.

I'm sore, but in a good {rewarding} way. I'm NOT skimping on food, but actually eating 5-6 times a day. I'm not doing some magical wrap or supplement combination that's going to give me immediate {non-lasting} results.. I'm WORKING hard each day, giving myself grace to do my very best & finding balance

THAT is how results are happening.

This program makes sense y'all & is going to be SUCH an awesome addition to your home library.

To stay in the loop on LAUNCH information (scheduled for March of 2016), click HERE and drop your email address!

To watch a short clip on what Tony's dishing out on 22 Minute Hard Corps, watch THIS video.


Fix APPROVED, Healthy Avocado Dressing

I LOVE a good salad, especially when I'm on a meal plan requiring lots of veggie intake- like the container system that's a part of the 21 Day Fix, Hammer & Chisel and even similar to that of 22 Minute Hard Corps (releasing March of 2016).

HOWEVER, I do most definitely get tired of just using a simple vinegar or vinaigrette day in and day out.. I mean, I'm a recovering Ranch-aholic, y'all.. #thestruggleisreal

Fortunately, this recipe came in my 21 Day Fix meal plan/cookbook and I'm sharing it today with YOU as a tried and true delicious concoction!

What the portion fix meal plan refers to as Creamy Herb Dressing, I refer to as a Healthy Avocado Greek Yogurt dressing because of the star players in this mash up.

1/2 C Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Ripened Avocado
3 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 C EVOO
Dried OR Fresh Herbs
(all I had was dill, tarragon, garlic, parsley & basil)

Combine all ingredients but olive oil in blender and blend until smooth. Slowly add in EVOO until you achieve creamy consistency. And that's it.. really, y'all!

This recipe makes about 10+ servings and if you're following a meal plan using the color coded container system I mentioned above, one serving is considered an ORANGE container.

I put this on top of a salad yesterday with grilled chicken, mixed greens, organic salsa and shredded cheese & it was just UH-mazing.

FYI: If you have avocados at home to make this dressing, but they aren't ripe yet... hop on over to THIS post where I explain HOW to ripen those puppies up asap!

Love YOURSELF, February Challenge

We've all heard it before that you can't love the people around you the way they should be loved, if you don't first love yourself.. this means accepting your flaws and caring for yourself spiritually, mentally & physically.

Are you doing this? Are you giving yourself GRACE? Are you maintaining balance in your life? Are you being the best wife, mom, teacher, student, friend, employee you can be because you've made >yourself< a priority?

In February, I want to help *10 women* love themselves again.. to love & appreciate the body+life God's given them through discipline, balance, commitment & positivity.

This journey isn't free, it's GOING to require an investment.. both of your time and resources. But I can tell you this, if you commit & truly give it your all, you WILL experience results and be a better woman at the end of our time together.

Ask yourself this.. are you worth it?

So how does this work?
The 10 women who choose to join me in February will be part of a PRIVATE, online group of women only. These women come from ALL different backgrounds, different states (even countries) and no two look alike! We are unique individuals finding common ground through the pursuit of wellness.

What's your commitment?
-Give me just 30 minutes of your day to complete workouts from the comfort, privacy and convenience of your own home.
-Learn how to fuel your body with a simple meal plan that DOESN'T leave you starving and doesn't require you to count calories.
-Be willing to be vulnerable and transparent with an incredible group of women who need you as much as you need us.
-Commit to drinking a nutrient dense shake once a day that is going to fill your nutritional deficiencies.. oh and tastes like a milkshake

This challenge starts on February 8th and these first come first serve spots are *limited.* If you've been waiting for an opportunity and looking for a sign.. this is it, girlfriend.

I'm not look for ladies who are half in.. not sure about change. I'm looking to dive IN with women who are READY to embrace change and LOVE themselves to better serve the ones they care for.

I've helped many women reach their goals and be PROUD of themselves again.. I'd LOVE to help you do the same. If you're interested, drop your email below for additional information OR send me an email directly to .

And how about this? Do all of those amazing women in your life a favor and share this blog post with them.

Time to LOVE YOURSELF, ladies.

LIFE HACK: How to Ripen Green Avocados

Isn't it the WORST when you snag a bag of avocados and they're all ROCK.SOLID??

Yep.. momma needs her healthy fats, y'all!

So what do you do? Wait a week for them to soften up? Nada.

Let me introduce you to my life hack that will ripen all of your green avocados!

1) Find a brown paper bag

2) Add an apple

3) Add your avocados.
I haven't added more than two or three at a time.

4) Fold up bag and set aside on counter for 24-48 hours. And let the magic begin...

Okay so time to get nerdy and tell you HOW this works.

In this experiment, you can use an apple, banana or tomato! These fruits emit more ethylene gas than other fruits out there. The brown bag is simply a way to the TRAP ethylene gas that ripens these bad boys. 

5) Check on the avocados each day
.. this was after ONE day.

So have no fear of un-ripened avocados the next time you pick up a baggie.

Give this a try and let me know what you think!

Beat the Binge, Stop the Starving: Find Balance in Portion Control

Because having a plan when it comes to nutrition doesn't mean you're on a diet. Because portion control doesn't mean you're starving.
A Plan = Guidelines = Discipline = Results
When I started the 21 Day Fix meal plan, I learned so much about what my body needed in order to be properly fueled.. How to structure my meals and really food prep. How to make this truly a lifestyle.
I've been able to overcome bad habits like skipping meals, starving my body with calorie counting to lose weight & having emotional binge eating sessions.
Could you use a system, support and guidance?

#portioncontrol #mealplanning #foodprep

Recipe SHARE: Sweet Potato Rounds with Herbed Ricotta and Walnuts

Recipe courtesy of: The Roasted Root

This recipe was the results of an afternoon pinterest scroll that I added to our "to make" list & figured I HAD to share.

If you're reaction was anything other than drool.. I don't think I trust you anymore {ha! no, but really}.

Hop on over to The Roasted Root via the website above if you want to see the full recipe or others like it!

This tasty concoction will take you about 50 minutes, cook time and all, & will whip up about 24 of these drool-worthy rounds. So here's what you do!

  • "1 large sweet potatoes, sliced in ¼-inch rounds
  • Grapeseed or olive oil
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Herbed Ricotta:
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1-½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • For Serving:
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, roasted and chopped
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • honey
Add all of the ingredients for the herbed ricotta to a small bowl and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the sweet potato slices to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with grapeseed or olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt and ground cinnamon over rounds. Use your hands to rub the oil and seasoning on both sides of the sweet potato rounds. Arrange rounds on a large baking sheet (or two if necessary). Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the rounds, then bake for another 17 to 20 minutes, or until rounds are cooked through and crispy on the edges.

Spread walnuts on a baking sheet. 10 minutes before the potato rounds are finished cooking, place the walnuts in the oven to roast.

Remove sweet potato rounds and walnuts from the oven. Place walnuts on a cutting board and chop. 

Place oven on high broil setting and move the oven wrack second to the top shelf. Place a dollop of herbed ricotta on each sweet potato round and place in the oven for 2 minutes, just until ricotta is melty and warm.

Add chopped walnuts and dried cranberries to the rounds. Drizzle with honey and serve!"

Give it a whirl and let me know what you THINK!

22 Minute Hard Corps Week TWO

Yowza! I can't believe I'm already on week TWO of this program.

While it has been so incredibly tough & challenging, it's EXACTLY what I wanted!

I've noticed how much better my body is functioning from the nutrition plan & how much my strength and stamina has improved in just 10 days.

I love this program. I love the {insane} pace. I love the challenge each day.. You know, that feeling when you dig DEEP to prove that voice in your head wrong.. When you suck it up and just ‪#‎GETSOME‬ . Yep, that's this program.. and I can't WAIT for you to try it!!!!

NEW Cafe Latte Shakeology Flavor

Attention all of you coffee, java, latte, mocha, frappe lovers:

I'm not sure if eating healthier has ever been more appealing..

We're pretty excited that a bag of this delicious goodness is on it's way to the Ghoens Casa!

I could eat 7 salads & take my vitamins/supplements.. or I could drink this.

*easy choice*

Ask me how you try Cafe Latte too, y'all.

Curious what's so special about shakeology? Read and watch THIS.

Love Fights Fair: Notes from the Love Dare

I've been SLOWLY working thru the Love Dare since the start of December, and by slowly I mean one chapter every couple of days.

It's been such a humbling experience that's challenged me by uncovering so many of my prideful and selfish downfalls as a woman and wife, when I originally planned to use this as a tool to fix Nate and I as a couple. (HA)

Each chapter (day) discusses a topic about what love IS.. actively. Love is a verb. It's a choice we make in marriage every day.

Oh man.. I could go off on a tangent here about the excuse people use for ending a marriage because they simply fall in and out of love. The truth is, we DO. We are imperfect people, loving imperfect people. If love is simply based on circumstantial emotion, feeling and opinions then you better BELIEVE your feelings of love will fluctuate. But we can't choose to start OR end a marriage based on that alone. It's like building a house on a foundation of sand!

This is what sets God's solid institution of marriage apart. We are imperfect people, loving each other through our faults and imperfections to ultimately glorify God. Marriage REFINES us as individuals, putting us in sometimes HOT, fiery places that can make us BETTER if we seek Him though it. We will stand firm and come out stronger, because we started with a proper foundation.

A loving marriage can last a lifetime if you CHOOSE to love unconditionally. Guard your heart. Base your love on commitment for life, rather than fleeting feelings. If YOU pursue a true agape love (the Love of Christ) towards your spouse, then phileo and eros love (that of friendship and sexuality) will follow!

I digress :) Back to my journal notes from today's dare about fighting fair..

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:25

Love reminds us that our marriage is too valuable to let it self destruct. And that our love for our spouse is more important than whatever you're fighting about.

Love PROTECTS our "one-ness." It reminds you that conflict can actually be turned around for good and result in greater unity- not less.

Fight clean. Establish rules of engagement as a way of protecting each other.

There are two types of boundaries: WE and ME

We: rules you BOTH agree on that apply to any fight. Each has the right to enforce if broken.

example: NEVER mention the word divorce. Avoid bringing up past resolved issues.  No fighting in public or in front of children. Call a "time out" if escalating to a damaging level. NEVER touch each other in a harmful way. Don't go to bed angry. Agree that FAILURE is NEVER an option.

Me: rules of personal practice.

I will listen before I speak
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:9

I will deal with my own issues up front and apologize first if needed
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3

I will speak gently and keep my voice down, lacing speech with love
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Fighting FAIR means changing our weapons, disagreeing with dignity & building bridges instead of burning them down.

LOVE itself is not a fight, but it's always worth fighting for!

Be challenged to discuss healthy rules of engagement with your spouse and resolve to abide by them. If your spouse if not ready, you must still do this yourself.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16

I hope this speaks to your heart, like it did mine.

Time to talk: Shakeology {video tell all}

I've written several times before about Shakeology & I'm sure by now you know that Nate and I really value it.

But what's really in it?
What's so special about it?
Is it a simple protein shake?
Or just a run-of-the-mill meal replacement shake?

I get it.. you've heard a little.. and seen a lot of opinions.

It's time to break it DOWN so that you can decide for yourself!

*be sure to watch this bad boy in HD*

To ask more questions or to learn more about how to order shakeology, email .

Best Kept Protein Secret: Cottage Cheese

Okay peeps... I tried cottage cheese for the first time today & I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

I knew the health benefits were spot on, but was curious what the taste/texture would be & if it would be something I'd want to eat regularly.

Let me break it down for ya, friends.


It's rich in protein!

It's recommended for expectant mommies and athletes because of the essential nutrients it contains.

 It's an excellent source of B12 vitamins that aid in various metabolic activities within our bodies.

It also contains lots of other vitamins and minerals that:
 help with digestion
aid and improve various biological functions
decreases stress and even cramps (thanks potassium)
maintains blood sugar (magnesium)
strengthens bones (calcium)


 It's thicker, like Greek yogurt.. With some chunks like feta cheese. It's a mild taste that can be used for sweet or savory combos.

Serving suggestion (for newbies especially):

Go sweet. Pair with granola for crunch and fruit for a natural sugar.

For my folks with no heart.. I mean SWEET TOOTH 😂 go savory: serve with tomatoes, cucumber and avocado- season with pepper!


Cottage cheese is CHEAPER than Greek yogurt. So add another protein option to your fridge and you wallet with thank you ✌️

Try new foods that FUEL your body.. You might even realize that you like them. ..

Roasted Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup

Recipe courtesy of:

Roasted Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup
  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the soup:
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  • Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at halftime.*
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.
*Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the squash.
Found this recipe today on Pinterest and KNEW I had to share..
With it FINALLY getting cold down here in Florida, I can't WAIT to try this recipe out & eat a big bowl cozied up on the couch under a blanket!!
Let me know what y'all think!